On August 12th, VIXX released it’s 2nd Single Album in the 3 part ‘Conception‘ series. Hades, is VIXX’s 6th single album and contains three songs, and an instrumental version of their title song ‘Fantasy’.
ABOUT THE GROUP:
VIXX is a 6 member group from Jellyfish Entertainment. Having been active for over 5 years since their debut in 2012, they have earned the title of ‘concept idols’. The group has gotten prominent for favoring dark themes and using concepts that span over their music, stage performances, outfits and their album photobooks. Some of the concepts they have been inspired by so far include superheroes, cyborgs, Jekyll and Hyde, slaves of love and now, Greek gods.
VIXX’s year long project for 2016, is called Conception or ‘Kers’. This project, will be inspired by Greek Gods and will see the release of over 4 single albums. Each album focuses on one Greek god and emotes what they stand for. The first album ‘Zelos’, inspired by the God of jealousy, had songs relating to the jealousy felt between lovers or the falling apart of love (‘Farewell of Hands’) due to estranged feelings.You can find the conception art film here.
The first single of the ‘Kers’ project was called Dynamite, and you can find it here.
Hades is the second single album in the ‘Kers’ series, and the 6th single album by VIXX. Inspired by the Greek god of death, Hades focuses on a more villainous side of love. The album speaks for a lover who is so involved and so invested in his love, that he begins to live in his own fantasies, though his lover is long gone It acts as a continuation of their last album, Zelos.
T R A C K L I S T:
FANTASY: This song is written by Kim Min Ji of Music Cube, with the rap written by Ravi (of VIXX). The music composition and arrangement involves Devine Channel. The song is of urban genre, with deep and dark sounds (mostly rising from it’s beat sounds and eerie harmonies). Fantasy talks about a man’s love that is extremely dark and intense; so much so that it consumes him enough to live completely in fantasies.”It’s just a fantasy. Pain fills me like thorns. A night that has lost it’s moon. An Empty sing”
This title song is filled with prosaic and poetic lyrics which do well to convey the complex emotion that the lover is trying to convey. How many of us have always dreamed our way out of a doomed relationship? Far too many. The happy memories have far too much power over us and we desperately wish the breakup would be an empty dream, but alas.
What I like best about this song is that they have managed to use Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata as the base for this brilliant song. Something so eerie has been placed upon the foundation of one of the best classical pieces. As for the music arrangement, the layering has been done so beautifully that it builds up in a smooth and steady manner, but still manages to raise your expectations when it comes to the chorus. N’s soulful singing, with his voice breaking at emotional lines, really does get the point across. This, is definitely a song that will change the face of K-Pop and work to prove that K-Pop boygroups are more than just pretty pieces made to seduce women.
LOVE ME DO: The 2nd track of the album, and written by Kim Changrock, Andrew Baag, Han Kyoung Soo and Ravi, is ‘Love Me Do’. An up-tempo song, this one is definitely one of the songs that I would have never expected from VIXX. I have been following VIXX for a while now, and they have characteristic sound that banks on brilliant harmonizing and clean cut mixing of sounds. But an up-tempo song with deep house influences is definitely a game changes. Even Bang Youngguk (B.A.P) is rumored to have helped with this song.Unlike the first track, Love Me Do is more sophisticated and far more sexier, with it’s direct lyrics. The lyrics speak of a desperate man asking his lover to reciprocate his passion and spare him some attention. It’s a very frivolous song, bordering on cheeky.
“Don’t just stare at me long and hard. This is certain, you know it too
It’s time you fell for me,
More of me, more of me.”
What I like best about this song is that Hongbin and N are singing the chorus of this song, and most of it’s hook (Which isn’t so common since Leo and Ken are the main vocals.) But Hongbin’s alto voice and N’s ability to reach extremely high notes definitely suit the song well.
BUTTERFLY EFFECT: After 2 very uncharacteristic and up-tempo songs, the album takes a dip with this one. Though a slow ballad-sort of song is definitely not a step-down in any manner, it is definitely a mood changer in this album. Butterfly Effect is a medium pop song with more of a vintage mood. Accompanied with a sophisticated harmony, it talks of how even a small gesture by your lover, sends a big surge of emotion.The song was written by Hwang Ji Won from Jam Factory and Ravi; Arranged and composed by Erik Lidbom, Andreas Oberg and Devine Channel.
“Across my universe that’s completely tinged with you,
Where we call each other gravity.”
Though I am a huge fan of prosaic lyrics, I have to say I like the lyrics to Butterfly Effect, especially when they have gems like these. Ravi’s rap is particularly provocative and sexy in this one, assuring the girl that she isn’t just unique, she is ‘his special girl’.
WHAT I REALLY THINK:
This album is somewhat of a game changer in the history of K-Pop. In my opinion, K-Pop was always far more sophisticated than Western music in terms of it’s production and arrangement of music. But Hades is a jam packed album of brilliantly made songs. There isn’t one song that isn’t good enough or isn’t as important in the album. Given, it’s just three songs. But putting together Zelos and Hades, both these albums have all well-made songs that incorporate brilliant lyrics, amazing harmonies and a clean cut arrangement and production technique. If making brilliance over and over again was hard, VIXX has definitely shown the world that it really isn’t.
I personally loved Fantasy because it has so many elements bubbling just in the music. From the harmonies, to the orchestra and the flute, all based on Moonlight Sonata. Not to mention the building up of the chorus, and ending it on a sweet and simple note. I’ve heard that to keep a song interesting till the end, you’ve got to change it up after every stanza. VIXX have definitely presented a song you can’t simply switch off after a few seconds, you are compelled to listen to it till the end. That’s the mark of a good song.
Now if you start noticing the lyrics, it just keeps getting better. VIXX have come a long way since their ‘Voodoo Doll’ days and the biggest mark of that is their complexity in music and the vocal ability of their members, especially Hongbin who wouldn’t have been able to pull this off during their debut.
They have definitely grown, and come out with a brilliant album. Kudos to VIXX and hats off to all this effort.